Bold Fortune

fortune favors the bold

Month: May, 2011

Just discovered

by mollykl

I think I may have found my long-lost twin. Also, I think this may prove I was adopted, since he’s Chinese.

I stumbled across “Not yet published”  today, and was instantly smitten.

Writing, fountain pens AND history?  Sign me up! I could probably spend weeks just clicking through all the links. I think I learned more about World War II in the past ten minutes than in the previous ten months, and for those at Escential who had to listen to me drone on, and on, and on, well, you know that’s hard to fathom. Ok, so if this guy’s my long-lost twin, he’s clearly the smart one (and that is killing me), but my ego’s willing to take the hit because this site is so damn much fun.

The downside is that I’ve been trying to spend less time online and more time writing….this site is going to make that hard. But I guess I could just count it as research.

I strongly object!

by mollykl

The list of 111 Male characters of British Literature in Order of Bangability is nice. It’s even rather extensive. What I would like to know is WHAT IDIOT MADE UP THIS LIST?! Seriously, Mr Darcy has been supplanted by Mr Rochester?!? The bastard kept his first wife WHO HE DROVE INSANE in the fucking attic!!! Oh yeah, that’s bangable. Algernon Moncrieff tops James Bond, Sirius Black and Remus Lupine? What the…? And WHY is Henry Crawford even on the list?!?

I can only surmise that this list was compiled and arranged by a. a man, with poor taste and an even poorer understanding of women or b. a woman with masochistic tendencies and feelings of inadequacy.

Suburbia

by mollykl

The final nail is in the coffin of my suburban domesticity: we are now the proud owners of a Volvo station wagon. My mom couldn’t drive hers any more, so she gave it to us. I was leery. Isn’t enough that I have a child, and a gardener, and a house in the suburbs? Noooooo. I had to get a frickin’ station wagon as well. And what a station wagon – the damn thing’s a MFN tank. You get behind the wheel and suddenly feel like you can take on semi’s – it’s like driving an M1-A1 down the interstate. And as I was driving down I-5 to come home, with Sammy Hagar on my i-pod, I thought, “Oh geez, could I be anymore of a stereotype?”

I’m not sure why I’m so upset by all of this – it’s not like I don’t like my life. I think I’m just suddenly very aware that it’s not where I thought it would end up. I have no illusions about ever having been, or even hoping to be, cool hipster-mom. Yeah, those of you who know me know that was never in the cards. I just never saw myself as suburban mom.

Perhaps a piercing or tatoo is in order.

Job hunting

by mollykl

Since our Mideast peace envoy, George Mitchell, is resigning, it looks like there’s a job available. I would be perfect for the position and have started working on my cover letter.

Dear President Obama,

Thank you for considering me for the position of Mideast Peace Envoy. I look forward to meeting with you in person and discussing this exciting and challenging opportunity.  

Allow me to summarize my qualifications. Please note that a full resume, CV and references are available. 

Having worked  for over twenty years in a customer service capacity I am fully versed in delicately balancing the needs and wants of the public. Additionally, my time spent as part of the grocery team has allowed me to jump into any needed area and perform, regardless of the pressure  or the environment. Being part of a team also means dealing with varying opinions, viewpoints and, sometimes, tempers. I have managed to walk the fine line between category manager and line representative, grocery manager and stock crew manager and store director/owner and department manager. 

Furthermore, I am the mother to a precocious 4 1/2 year old boy. As a parent yourself I’m sure I do not have to explain to you how much dealing with children, the good and the bad, prepares you for dealing with the rest of the world in a way no other job ever can. 

I would bring a fresh viewpoint to the current Israel/Palestine discussion, and a no-nonsense attitude back to the position of peace envoy. 

I look forward to speaking with you, and am available at your convenience. 

Sincerely,

MKL

“Bitch”

by mollykl

My son, 4 1/2 year old J, used that word for the first time today. He didn’t know what it was, so he used it while laughing with a friend at school. My eyes went wide and I said, no let’s be honest, nearly yelled, “WHAT did you just say?!?”  And then I hoped the earth beneath my feet would kindly open up and swallow me, thank you. Oh, where do I start? Being so angry I simply told him that is not a word he is ever to use. I wanted to explain why, but at 4 1/2 wasn’t sure where to begin. How do I tell him that, on so many levels, it’s a word I get to use, but he doesn’t…and not just because I’m an adult.

Would I be telling him differently if he was a girl? Would I be saying, “It’ll be an ok word for you to use, but not now…wait fifteen years”? Can you explain power dynamics to a kid? He’s a smart kid and very sensitive. If I explain that when used by men it’s a word meant to demoralize and humiliate women, but when used by women it can be a sign of respect, will he get it?

Tina Fey’s now famous “bitch is the new black” shtick puts a new spin on the word, but it doesn’t make it any easier to explain to a child. It doesn’t make it any easier to think about, as a parent or as a woman who uses the word, sometimes out of anger, sometimes out of respect. As a sign of respect it is crystal clear: you have an image of what it denotes. As a person I strongly dislike Hillary Clinton. As my Secretary of State, well, she’s a bitch, which means that, much like Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice before her she does her job as well or better than a man in the same position. Unfortunately she has to be perceived as a bitch for that to happen. (Although, I don’t recall ever having heard Madeleine Albright refered to as a bitch, but then, she never ran for president.) As an insult, especially with the prefix “fucking” or “stupid”,  the venom is obvious. I’ve used this particular appellation for a certain vice-presidential nominee and a certain blond author with racist and homophobic leanings. I do not use this as a sign of respect. I use it, in fact and much to my chagrin as I really think about it, exactly the way a man would. It is said with derision. I’ve referred to myself as a bitch. Frequently, in fact. Sometimes with a pat on my back for having done a tough job. Sometimes, and this is sad, not in a respectful way, with, again, the prefix “stupid”. Which makes me think: did he really hear it from a friend, or did he hear it from me? We have a swear jar at the house, so I’m careful with my language for the most part. “Fucking” is my favorite verb, adverb, noun, conjunction and interjection so that’s the one I pay the most attention to NOT say.

I’m not sure if I ever really paid that much attention to “bitch”. In much the same way that I frequently tell people that I’m “the worst mother ever” (which I know I’m not), what am I telling him every time I use the word “bitch”? When I first got pregnant I was so excited at the thought of having a girl. I had a name all picked out, the design of nursery (previously known as “husband J’s office”) and had even ordered some first edition Monica Furlong books. And then we had the ultra-sound. When I was first informed, “Oh yeah, that’s a boy” I asked, “Are you sure?” I spent approximately five minutes being sad and then remembered the quote from Murphy Brown, “”Well, I always wanted to teach my kid to throw a knuckleball, to play seven card stud, and to fix the carburetor on an MG. I guess I’ll just have to do that with a boy.”

Boys are easier than girls, that’s what everyone at work told me. You don’t have to worry as much, they’re less high maintenance. But, as to quote Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, with great power comes great responsibility. Yeah, those of you with girls, I hold their future in my hands. Because how I raise my son, how he sees women and more importantly, how he treats them,  depends upon my actions, and my words.

Don’t worry, I won’t let you down.

the OMG factor

by mollykl

So here’s the thing about the web that never fails to amaze me: contact with people, albeit from a distance, that you worship.  It is the MOST random thing in the world to be checking in to facebook only to find an update by Deanna Raybourn, click to read all the comments, laughing all the while about the “two-sizes too small dress for the RITA’s” , and come across a reply from Tasha Alexander.

There was a small moment of freaking out.

I had the same experience when a favorite author commented on this blog. I seriously ran into the bedroom, where husband J was still sound asleep, and started jumping up and down screaming.

This is, of course, beyond creepy. I don’t know these people. They are not my friends. They are not my co-workers (actually, I’ll say that it’s a bit creepy “seeing” co-workers on facebook – in the words of George Costanza “worlds colliding!”). They are authors that I read, adore, worship, criticize, you name it.

The web breeds a sense of familiarity that would normally take years and constant contact to form, and that’s a little scary. Now we make insta-friends. Oh, you’re a friend of a friend. Oh, you like Jay-Z too? Oh, you write my favorite books. But how well do you know anyone? And do you really want to?

Girly girl

by mollykl

I am most definitely not. A girly girl, I mean. I’m more the “playing tackle football in the street – rehashing the 2010 Red Sox season – outdrinking the guys – X-Men trivia” kind of girl. In the words of my friend M  “the perfect 12 year old boy” (well, maybe without the drinking).

But, and here’s the deep dark secret, I do actually like some girly things. I just tend to keep them under wraps. But here it is, my list of favorite girly things. Some are blatantly stereotypical, so sue me. See how many girl points I can rack up.

1. The “French 75 cocktail”. Champagne, gin and lemon juice and a sugar cube. Fizzy, not too sweet, and goes straight to your head. Since I usually drink something in a highball this is a good girly drink. (I lose one girly point for knowing that it is named after an artillery shell)

2. The Sidecar. In Portland E and I used to go to Jake’s Grill and have these. Many of these. Since I’ve never really done the “cocktails with the girls” thing well, it was always nice to hang out with E, and it made me feel a little more normal.

3. Thebeautydepartment.com I would like to pretend I don’t know who Lauren Conrad is, But I do. And I love, love, love this site. I check in every day.

4. Jewelery. Especially jewelery given by a man. One man. My husband. I have a lovely pearl and white gold necklace he gave me for my 30th birthday, and a white sapphire necklace for christmas the year after son J was born, oh, and my too-gorgeous for words eternity band for our 10th wedding anniversary. What can I say, the man has great, tasteful, taste.

5. Benefit. Love their makeup. Love the job that Eva at the Macy’s at Arden Fair did on my brows. She wears glasses and has shorter hair, so she knows how important great brows are.

6. Lingerie. And not Victoria’s Secret crap. DKNY. It’s not expensive, but it’s nice.

7. Dove chocolate. Yeah, my newly formed life philosophy based on Dove chocolate wrappers is coming along nicely, thank you. But I also just love the chocolate. Try it with port. I’m currently drinking Peltier Station’s USB.

8. Girly magazines. (Oh, husband J says I should say “fashion magazines” since girly magazines conjures up something COMPLETELY different.) Vogue, Glamour, InStyle. You name it. I’ve bought it.

9. The Royal Wedding. Didn’t care. Didn’t follow. But that morning we were in the break room watching the tv, and I saw the dress and said, “Oh, isn’t she lovely! M (recently engaged) would look great in that style.” And I thought A and D were going to faint from my having uttered those words.

10. Proposals. On the video at work there was footage of a co-worker at another store asking another co-worker to marry him. I’ve actually known both of them for as long as I was working at the company, and so, yes, I started to tear up. And then when M and J (who have been mentioned in posts previously as being “in lurve” )got engaged, I also, I’ll admit it, got a little teary.

11. Perfume. If it’s Britney Spears, keep walking. If you’re wearing real perfume, come talk to me. You actually know Jicky or Tabac Blonde? Oh yeah, we can have a conversation. Me? I wear Chanel Cuir de Russie.

12. Romance novels. Courtney Milan, love. Larissa Ione, love.  JR Ward, love.  I’ve been teasing A at work for nearly a year, talking about the novels I love that I will never admit. Hey consider this a gift.

13. Bubble baths. I’m fond of my Dr. Hauschka Lavender bath. I’m addicted to my Dead Sea Salts. But I would shrivel up and DIE if I couldn’t have any more Rain Bubble Bath from Escential. There’s just something about that damn scent that makes everything better.

14. People in “lurve”.  As snarky as I am, I do actually appreciate people in “lurve”, even if they do make me feel like losing my lunch from time to time. I love watching M text J in the mornings at break. Seeing S and R together might actually restore my faith in humanity. And M and H are so fucking cute that I sometimes wonder if they’re not Cylons.  (Oh damn, there goes another girly point for mentioning Cylons…)

and finally the coup de resistance:

15. Jane Austen. Granted, this one isn’t a secret. I wrote my senior project in college on Miss Austen and until I got a Kindle had an entire shelf full.  Oh, Miss Austen, how do I love thee? You understand men’s and women’s foibles better than anyone else. You wrote what is, I will argue to my death, the singularly best example of the English novel…ever. (Oh yeah, Virginia Woolf acolytes, bring it on.) And yet, you can still make me swoon, and there are damn few things in this life that will do that.

Add ’em up people. How did I do?